Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

SP 09-2023 CEP Notification Requirements

On March 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued Policy Memorandum SP 09-2023: Community Eligibility Provision—Statutory Annual Notification and Publication Requirements and School Year 2023–2024 Election Deadline. You can view this policy memo on the USDA School Meals Policy web page External link opens in new window or tab.. This memorandum highlights some information on the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Application information listserv web page.

The CEP is a four-year alternative meal counting and collection procedure. Participation in the CEP reduces paperwork and other administrative burdens at the local level by simplifying the traditional operating procedures for meal eligibility and meal counting while eliminating the meal application process. For more information on the CEP, please visit the California Department of Education (CDE) CEP web page.

Reporting Requirements for the California Department of Education


The USDA requires the CDE to publish a list of schools that are eligible or near eligible to participate in the CEP by May 1 of each year. Currently, eligible schools are those schools where at least 40 percent of the students enrolled are eligible to receive a meal at no cost without completing an application. The USDA refers to the percentage of students eligible for free meals without an application as the Identified Student Percentage (ISP).

Near eligible schools are those schools where at least 30 percent, but less than 40 percent, of students are eligible to receive a meal at no-cost without completing an application. Based on information that local educational agencies (LEA) submit to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System for school year (SY) 2022–23, the CDE collects the eligible and near eligible school data and will post this data no later than May 1, 2023, to the CDE CEP web page.

The USDA also requires the CDE to notify all LEAs that are eligible or near eligible to participate in the CEP districtwide by April 15, based on available current student data, and publish a report listing these LEAs by May 1 every year.

The CDE annually collects the eligible and near eligible districtwide data based on information each LEA submitted in their current school year Annual Verification Report in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). The CDE will post the SY 2022–23 districtwide eligible/near eligible report to the CNIPS Download Forms section no later than April 15, 2023.

Please note that the CDE collects this data on behalf of the LEA and no action is required from the LEA for this reporting requirement. These reports include proxy data and are informational only and do not automatically qualify your LEA or school for participating in the CEP. Eligibility to participate in the CEP is based on your LEA’s application and ISP as of April 1 of the school year prior to participating in the CEP.

For information on the application process and to determine your LEA’s ISP, please refer to Management Bulletin SNP-02-2022, which is posted on the CDE CEP Application and Increasing ISP web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your county’s School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Specialist. A current list of SNP Specialists is available on the SNP Specialist Directory web page. You can also contact to be directed to your SNP Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Divison | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 27, 2023
Related Content
  • California Universal Meals
    Includes background, policy, provisions, webinars, resources, FAQs, and contacts regarding California’s Universal Meals Program.
  • Community Eligibility Provision
    The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides School Nutrition Program (SNP) sponsors an alternative method for claiming student meals in high poverty schools.
  • Direct Certification
    A federally mandated process that sponsors must use to certify school-age recipients of CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits as eligible for free school meals without further application.
  • National School Lunch Program
    Information about applying for and administering the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • School Breakfast Program
    Information about applying for and administering the School Breakfast Program (SBP).
Recently Posted in Nutrition